Kids’ Almanac (Aug. 25-Sept. 1)


“Anything that fills your heart has the power to smash it to bits. Welcome to parenthood.”
– Carolyn Hax


Ruby’s micro bouquets

The moment I laid eyes on Ruby’s micro bouquets, I was smitten. It’s the perfect seasonal craft for all ages, whether you’re camping, at the beach or just in your backyard. Ten-year-old Ruby S. of Kerhonkson explains: “You just take a water tube from the florist that you have around the house, you fill it with water and you tuck a flower or other plant stems through the hole to make a bouquet. That’s it!”

Ruby tells me that you can put pretty much any type of plant inside, because even weeds look cool in this setting. She displays them around picnic tables or in the car, and she even combines bouquet tubes in a pot of dirt for a larger decoration. Thanks for this terrific and fun idea, Ruby! I’d love to see photos of your own kids’ creations: [email protected].


Bard College Clemente Course in the Humanities

Do you find yourself running into obstacles between you and a college degree? Here’s one approach that can help you get started: If you are 17 or older, living in a low-income household, able to read a newspaper in English, highly motivated and have the time and desire to attend regular classes, complete assignments outside of class and participate fully in the course for the entire nine-month term, then you might be eligible to be a part of the Bard College Clemente Course in the Humanities. Students attend at no cost; tuition, books and childcare are provided; and at the end of the term, you can earn six college credits from Bard! Let’s spread the word!

Classes take place at the Kingston Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m., beginning October 4. Interested in learning more? Come to the information session on Thursday, September 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Kingston Library. Applications for the program are available at the Kingston Library and online at, and must be returned to the library or e-mailed to [email protected] by September 15, which is then followed by an interview for prospective candidates.

The Kingston Library is located at 55 Franklin Street in Kingston. For more information, e-mail [email protected] or visit


Youth singing groups

Your kid’s musical expression doesn’t need to be limited to the lip-sync loops of the app How about joining a local youth choral group this fall?

The High Ridge Choir invites youth from ages 7 to 13 to a Meet & Greet with games and singing this Friday, August 26 from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church (RELC), located at 90 Route 32 South in New Paltz. Led by Sabrina Ferguson, the group is secular, no auditions are required and the cost is $200 for the 15-week fall semester, with a discount for full-year enrollment. Rehearsals take place on Fridays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at RELC, with a holiday concert scheduled for Friday, December 9. For more information, call (917) 716-6175 or (845) 255-6415, e-mail [email protected] or visit

The Hudson Valley Youth Chorale announces an open call for singers from third to 12th grades to audition on Tuesday, September 6 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Maennerchor & Damenchor Hall at 37 Greenkill Avenue in Kingston; or on Thursdays, September 8 and 15 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Christ’s Lutheran Church at 26 Mill Hill Road in Woodstock. Directed by Mathew Camara, the music includes both secular and sacred styles, and weekly rehearsals take place in Kingston and Woodstock. For more information, call (845) 338-6362 or (845) 750-9193 or visit or



Hike to a Native longhouse at Mohonk

Wish you were more familiar with the trails of the Mohonk Preserve? Interested in making new friends for you and your little ones between the ages of 2 and 6 years? Then you should register for Toddlers on the Trail, happening this Friday, August 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. This month’s theme is “In Search of Native Americans” and includes a 1.5-mile easy hike and exploration of a replica of a longhouse.

Registration is required. This program is free for Mohonk Preserve members and children aged 12 and under; non-members pay a $12 day-hike fee. For more information or to register, call (845) 255-0919 or visit



Kids’ Paint-Out at Thomas Cole National Historic Site

What if your kids could paint in the same place that famed artist Thomas Cole did? Founder of the Hudson River School, his romanticized landscapes are just as glorious to view now as they were then. Come on out for a Kids’ Paint-Out this Saturday, August 27 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. Children from ages 1 to 16 are invited to get a behind-the-scenes tour of Cole’s painting studio, learn about his creative process and receive a canvas and painting materials to create their own work. Take your piece home, or exhibit it at Community Day on Sunday, September 18.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is preferred, but drop-ins are welcome. Children under 10 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. The Thomas Cole National Historic Site is located 218 Spring Street in Catskill. For more information or to register, call (518) 943-7465, e-mail [email protected] or visit or


Antique Fire Engine Muster in Kingston

My proposed motto for communities about volunteer firefighters: “They get all of the gear they want, because we could never repay their valiant work.” These generous and brave folks are part of a long tradition. Come on out to learn some of the history behind this special group of people who run into fires, for no monetary compensation – complete with cool firetrucks across the eras, and you can score a free hotdog and soda, too.

The Volunteer Firemen’s Hall and Museum’s 13th annual Antique Fire Engine Muster takes place this Saturday, August 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., concluding with a closing parade at 3. The Volunteer Firemen’s Hall and Museum is located at 265 Fair Street in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 443-3905 or visit or


Contemporary Dance & Improvisation workshop in Saugerties

I’m more of a line dancer myself, so my breath is timed with a left-foot-left-stomp and to cha-cha real smooth. But for those of you age 13 and up who love to improvise, Sharon Penz has something for you: “Inner Landscapes of Body and Breath: A Workshop in Contemporary Dance and Improvisation” takes place this Saturday, August 27 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Saugerties Ballet Center. This two-hour workshop doesn’t include mirrors, but rather visualizations and guided imagery designed to explore swinging, rolling, balancing, falling and jumping, all from the inside out.

Bring a notebook or a journal, and wear comfortable clothes. Previous dance experience is helpful. The cost is $20, and preregistration is required. The Saugerties Ballet Center is located at 10 First Street in Saugerties. For more information or to register, call (845) 663-0719 or e-mail [email protected].


Storytelling tours of Olana

“Museum Storytelling: Family Tours” is the name, and fun, interesting, educational experiences are Tom Lee’s game. I’m talking about the Olana State Historic Site and this weekend’s child-friendly tour this Saturday, August 27 from 10 to 11 a.m. Lee’s story style of sharing weaves together artist Frederic Church’s history, artifacts and architecture in a way that makes Olana come alive for young people. Best suited for children ages 5 and up, these tours are free and open to the public, but space is limited.

Also this week, Olana presents “Art in the Morning for Preschoolers: Building Your Name with Shapes and Symbols,” scheduled for Wednesday, August 31 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Families can arrive any time within that block and create art to take home, at a cost of $5 per child; adults are free. Planning ahead? Make a reservation for the next “Museum Storytelling: Family Tour” on Saturday, October 1.

The Olana State Historic Site is located at 7720 Route 9G in Hudson. For more information or reservations, call (518) 828-0135 or visit



Military Reenactment Day at Boscobel

Why is “Living History: Military Reenactment Day” at Boscobel such a solid event for accommodating mixed ages and interests? Because the real-life encounters with costumed soldiers feel like we’ve dropped into another era; the historic mansion provides interesting details about the olden days (good luck finding the chamber pots); the grounds are beautiful, including some lovely hiking trails; and the river views are spectacular.

“Living History: Military Reenactment Day” takes place on Sunday, August 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes demonstrations and other customs of patriot life over the centuries. Activities take place rain or shine, and are included in the grounds admission: $11 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 14 years and free for children under 6. Tours of the mansion are available for an additional fee.

Boscobel is located at 1601 Route 9D in Garrison. For more information or to secure advance tickets, call (845) 265-3638 or visit



13 Presidents book talk at FDR Library

I’m all for basing a road trip on something like finding the best homemade ice cream. But for those who prefer a more intellectual bent, how about this roundup of personal histories of 13 of our nation’s presidents and their libraries? On Thursday, September 1 at 7 p.m., the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum presents 13 Presidents, a book about all of our nation’s presidential libraries and stories about those presidents. I’m fascinated! Author Marisa J. Futernick will give a talk and book-signing at the event, which is free and open to the public. What a neat evening for curious students and adults, especially during this election cycle!

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum is located at 4079 Albany Post Road in Hyde Park. For more information, call (845) 486-7745 or visit


Hikes for toddlers & kids at Minnewaska

Pro tip: Squeeze the most out of summer by bringing your crew to the Minnewaska State Park Preserve! Babies and toddlers will enjoy this week’s “Babes in the Woods” hike from 11 a.m. to 12 noon in their carriers or strollers, roaming the trails. And homeschooled children from ages 6 to 12 years will get a whole new park perspective at “Early Colonists on the Ridge,” discovering how settlers lived off the land at Minnewaska, as well as games that children played years ago. Enjoy a picnic lunch between sessions!

These programs are free and open to the public, but registration is required and the park entry fee is $10 per vehicle (or free if you have a current Empire Passport sticker on your car). The Minnewaska State Park Preserve is located at 5281 Route 44/55 in Kerhonkson. To register or for more information, call (845) 255-0752 or visit


Erica Chase-Salerno is obsessively daydreaming about the insanely delicious paleo chocolate chip cookie that she ate at Ulster Coffee in Kingston last week. She can be reached at [email protected]


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